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Seems like these days more and more artists are getting back in touch with the delicate, and often overlooked, art of songwriting, realizing that sonic arson and unrelenting esotericism don't necessarily equal quality. God, that's a good thing. The members of the DC quintet Canyon appear to be of this new breed, creating delicate introspective modern folk pieces that seek to harness the vast emotional power of their instruments. Canyon's a great name for this group; their music is dusty, earthy, vast, full of wind and shadows and secrets. Canyon is an indie rock group -- or at least has an indie rock pedigree -- but clearly the group looks to the music of '70s country-folk singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, and the acoustic Bruce Springsteen for inspiration. The band crafts pensive, melancholy canvases with simple strokes, giving as much musical space folky instruments like lap steel, harmonica, and accordion as to their assorted guitars, eclectic percussion, and electric piano. The music is poignantly beautiful, loaded with raw emotions and empty of rock 'n' roll pretensions.

As previously mentioned, the band does have a bit of an indie pedigree, and you may be interested to learn about these wistful folkies' previous projects. Singer/guitarist Brandon Butler and guitarist Joe Winkle both used to serve in the mid-'90s K.C. emo outfit Boy's Life (Butler went on to front the short-lived The Farewell Bend). Singer/pianist/accordionist Derry DeBorja was in Youngstown Smokers. Bassist John Wall and percussionist Vin Novarra round out the band. Canyon recorded its debut LP in Trans Am's DC recording studio. It's a gorgeous, rich nine-song affair, featuring the heartbreaking folk hymn "Yellow Tape."